Trip Start May 29, 2008
102Trip End Dec 19, 2008
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Where I stayed
We arrived in Osaka, Japan to find that it was extremely dense and they said Tokyo was even worse. Japan is the most densely populated country in the world with 120 million people in a land area the size of Italy but with 70% of it consisting of mountains. Buildings and houses were virtually attached everywhere you went and had to be built vertically. There was a contortionist we later saw in another country that was squeezing herself into a box that would hold a small tv and she joked that she purchased this in Tokyo - it was advertised as a 2BD, 3BA apartment. Not surprisingly, the hotel room was pretty small . What we liked most was that people were actually organized here and orderly as opposed to the chaos we experienced in China. Everything was so futuristic. Our train looked like something out of Space Odyssey 2000. Prices were through the roof as we paid $600 to travel on their national metro.
We finally arrived at our hotel. We found convenience stores nearby that sold bottled green iced tea and probiotic yogurts. Japanese are extremely health-conscious as these items were really popular. Lucky for me, I loved them and took advantage.
At night, we decided to eat at a local, authentic Japanese restaurant. The hotel recommended a great one. It was a fantastic sushi restaurant with the nicest people. It must have been family run because everything was done with such TCL. Rachel tried the raw fish sashimi. Rachel has been getting braver as the trip progresses. Maybe it's because after seeing me eat all of this wild and weird food makes the sashimi-type stuff seem like meat and potatoes. We also were served Asahi beer. They didn't have any other kind - I guess that tells you where their beer allegiances lie.
One thing about Japanese food is that there is so much fantastic variety. Teppanyaki, sashimi, udon, tempura, sushi, sukiyaki, and a dozen others. Their desserts are also out of this world - they're really light too so you don't feel sick after eating them. You will never get bored eating in Japan. Actually, we think as a whole Japan had the best food of any country we visited.